Friday, March 09, 2007

Why it is that the Catholic Church is most often seen for its doctrine and dogma instead of the beauty of its life is beyond me. There may be a thesis in there somewhere, but it seems to me that no one ever really talks about the Orthodox Church in terms of what it believes (beyond the Trinitarian and Christological basics, that is!), yet on so many points of doctrine and social teaching, [Roman] Catholics and Orthodox are agreed. Even when it comes to Buddhism and the gentle face it presents to the West (the image we have in the West of Buddhism, with its placid, orange-robed monks, its incense, and its bells), there would be a great deal in common between the two religious systems.

That the Catholic Church is rather heard for its many words than seen and experienced for its beauty may have something to do with the Reformation, or perhaps its post-Conciliar liturgical turmoil. Whatever the case, what the Catholic Church is can be far better apprehended in the lives of the monks of
La Grande Chartreuse than in the words of countless media descriptions of what she has last written, or indeed, in the words of what she has in actual fact said.
From fides et ardor.

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